World Environmental Day: Message From Fenrad.
It is World Environment Day (WED)
It is World Environment Day, WED and we at Foundation for Environmental Rights Advocacy and Development, FENRAD wish to mark the day with lots of activities, including this message, as an environmental rights group. For us at FENRAD, it feels like a Christmas day and also reminds us of effort which must be put in place to recover the environment - both living and nonliving - through counteractive and proactive measures.
The environment is not just home or habitat but life. Man is an environmental being whose existence and activities are related to an environmental space. Therefore the task of safeguarding the environment has largely become man's. It was for this reason that every June 5 has been set aside to raise awareness annually on issues like environmental rights and protection, biodiversity, climate change, sustainable development and all such global environmental issues that affect mankind today. World Environment Day was begun in 1974, two years after the 1972 Stockholm Conference on Human Environment, and has afforded governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), state and non-state actors and as well governments at all levels (national and subnational) the opportunity to pursue a global agenda for the environment through a robust environmental regime.
The theme for 2021 WED is Ecosystem Restoration. Already, that tells a lot. Today's world has lost a lot that would have made it fuller. Worst is, these losses came from human activities like logging, poaching, bush burning, wetland reclamation and all other activities leading to ecological degradation, if not outright loss. The shrinking of nature for man's expansion has come with tough consequences for man himself. At the zenith of this biolodiversity loss are urbanization and industrialization which activities - gas flaring, carbon emission and the like - have impacted on living itself. The issue of ozone layer depletion has become a global concern leading to a lot commitments on the part of states and non-state actors, for example Conference of Parties COP21 or CMP11 that held in France in 2015 under the UN Climate Change Conference. United Nations Environmental Programme, the UNEP, which came from Stockholm Conference, together with other agencies and offices of the UN and many volunteers have done much that seem little so far. The call for action today has equally been taken to CEOs and owners of businesses.
FENRAD calls for a collective action on state and non-state actors all over the globe to act responsibly by limiting certain unfriendly activities against nature and the environment. The environment, FENRAD understands, is a common good and man's first wealth to be preserved. This is a message FENRAD brings to the on world today's WED in alliance with this year's theme: Ecosystem Restoration. We can all act and do our little to recover the earth and keep it sustainable for those after us.
Though Nigeria is a Low-Income Country with hardly the kind of industry seen in India, Russia or other Middle-Income Countries (MICs), there is still expectation that Nigeria cuts her harmful activities aside from gas flaring (which stood at 7.4 billion cubic feet in 2018) in her Delta. Carbon emission from vehicles, bush burning among the rural poor for farming, poor sewage treatment, channeling of effluence to rivers, cesspit and septic tanks leaking above ground and even open defecation are all problems facing Nigeria and Abia State. A certain report in 2019 said Nigeria had overtaken India ranking first in of open defecation. For a country the size and population of India to be so overtaken by Nigeria means there is need for action.
FENRAD calls on federal and state governments and all the ministries of environment to, as a matter of national urgency, make environment the chore and nucleus of governing. As it is today, campaign manifestos and party ideology both have no green colour and so Nigeria tends to be green only in her flag but hardly in her vegetation and ecology. Though the national policy on environment is captured in section 20 of her 1999 constitution, constant amendments need to be done with a view to mitigating looming disasters decades of environmental neglect could result in. Proper domestication of instruments and protocols on environment should be prioritized to enable subnational governments come up with flexible laws on environment that meet global best practice. It is imperative because it will help tackle environmental issues recrudescent in Nigeria like open defecation. To ensure green recovery and mitigate loss of biodiversity states must act and Nigeria must not be left out.
Happy World Environment Day, WED!
Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor. Executive Director foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy & Development (FENRAD)